Friday, February 12, 2010

Ireland v Scotland T20 Match Report

Trent Johnston

Ireland qualified for the Super Fours section of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifying tournament yesterday with a marvellous all-round game of cricket.

Once again Ireland won the toss and chose to bat. Although no Irish batsman scored more than nineteen runs (a score matched by both Andrew White and Gary Wilson), all players but one ended in double figures. This was a fine example of a team performance at bat, with all players having a decent strike rate, and driving Ireland towards their final score of 136/7.

Openers William Porterfield and Niall O'Brien worked well together once more, with a 31 partnership, and scoring 18 and 17 respectively. Perhaps the brief highlight of Irish batting was Kevin O'Brien's marvellous ten off just four balls - a strike rate of 250.00. He was the only Irishman to hit a six yesterday.

Scotland's batting was the opposite of Ireland's, with just two players entering double figures. This was due, once again, to impressive Irish bowling. The Irish bowlers have improved vastly since their opening game, and were fantastic again yesterday, with Scotland all out for 99 in 18.3 overs.

Neil McCallum and Gordon Drummond were the top scorers yesterday (43 and 35), but neither was enough to give Scotland the victory. The Scots were just 6/4 in the second over, thanks to a stellar performance from Peter Connell and Trent Johnston, who took two wickets each in those two overs. That second over would give Johnston the man of the match award, as it was a double wicket maiden - a very rare sight in Twenty20 Cricket.

Johnston also took the wicket of Jan Stander in the fourth over, but the game was very much a team effort, and Alex Cusack, Kevin O'Brien, and George Dockrell (2) also took wickets of their own. The match finished in style, as the last four wickets fell in quick succession, giving the Irish a 37 run victory, and in high spirits heading towards the next stage of the competition.

Ireland take on UAE today in the Super Fours at 12.00 GMT, and will play the Netherlands tomorrow (Saturday) at the same time. If ranked in the top two, they will play the final on Sunday. Both finalists will make it to the ICC World Twenty20 in April, with the winner being inserted in Group C and the loser in Group D.


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